“He brought (me) out of darkness and the shadow of death. And He broke (my) chains.” Psalm 107:14
When I began to devote myself to a daily prayer journal, I would read Bible verses that resonated with a current struggle or feeling of gratitude. I would write these verses in my prayer journal. It wasn’t until I read the verse in an “active” voice that the Scriptures became alive!
Feeling God’s presence
Goose bumps appeared on my arms when I wrote, “(I) love Him because He loved (me) first.” 1 John 4:19
I didn’t do anything to deserve His love or His grace. Yet, He loved me first!
I copy Scripture into my prayer journal. If the verse or verses are lengthy, I may print them from Biblegateway.com to tape into my prayer journal. I put parenthesis around the words I translate into an active voice to accentuate how God is speaking to me when I read His Word.
When I actively read the verses in this way, God’s Word becomes even more powerful to me. As I have drawn closer to God in journaling my prayers and actively praying the Scriptures, I truly feel His presence at all times.
His Work in Me
Actively praying Scripture has helped me to feel less judgmental of others while I keep the focus on God and how He is working in my life.
“Put out of (my) life all these things: bad feelings about other people, anger, temper, loud talk, bad talk which hurts other people, and bad feelings which other people. (I) must be kind to (one another). (I will) think of the other person. (I) forgive other people just as God forgave (me) because of Christ’s death on the cross.” Ephesians 4:31-32
“(I will) not let (my) heart be jealous of sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always. For sure there is a future and (my) hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17-18
“Keep (my life) free from the love of money. Be happy with what (I) have. God has said, “I will never leave you or let you be alone.” Hebrews 13:5
“If (I) forgive people their sins, (my) Father in heaven will forgive (my) sins also.” Matthew 6:14
Praying the Psalms
When I read and pray the Psalms in faith, I come away changed not simply informed. The Psalms are a poetic and literary sanctuary in the Scripture. Martin Luther treats the Psalms as five different groups – prophecy, instruction, comfort, prayer, and thanks. Others describe the Psalms as having seven genres – the hymn, the lament, the thanksgiving psalm, psalm of remembrance, psalm of confidence, wisdom psalm, and the kingship psalm. These classifications are helpful but the Psalms cannot be so easily or exactly grouped because some psalms could be included in each group or genre.
One thing is certain. When I pray the Psalms, I go to God to be honest with Him.
“Those who know Your name will put their trust in You. For You, O Lord, have never left alone those who look for You.” Psalm 9:10
I know Your name and I put my trust in You. For You, O Lord, have never left me alone.
“I will listen to what God the Lord will say. For He will speak peace to His people, to who are right with Him.” Psalm 85:8
I will listen to You Lord. For You will speak peace to me for I am right with You.
“He will not be afraid of bad news. His heart is strong because he trusts the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
I will not be afraid of bad news. My heart is strong because I trust the Lord.
God speaks to me in His Word, in my circumstances, and through others. Praying the Scriptures have tuned my ears to listen to Him in all those different ways that He is present with me.
The Bible translation version I used for this blog post today is the New Life Version™ Bible translation. As I have stated in an earlier blog post, there are many Bible translation versions. https://theprayerjournals.com/2016/04/12/the-holy-bible-our-handbook/
There are also a variety of Devotional and Bible study books that are helpful in understanding God’s Word. I recommend the following for reading and understanding Psalms and Proverbs.
Reading the Psalms with Luther, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, website: http://www.cph.org
How to Read Proverbs, Tremper Longman III, Author, IVP Academic, Downers Grove, IL, Website: http://www.ivpress.com
The following resource book I have carried with me for many years in my purse or briefcase. I have found this collection of Bible verses a handy reference when I need God’s guidance in a particular situation or problem in my life at that moment.
The Bible Promise Book, Barbour Publishing Inc., Uhrichsville, OH, Website: http://www.barbourbooks.com
Praying the Scriptures:
“I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.
My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.”
“Strengthen (these) weak hands,
And make firm (these) feeble knees.
Say to (me) who (is) fearful-hearted,
“’Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”
Prayer Writing Prompts:
Write your own Psalm or draw a picture with color pencils depicting your Psalm.
What value could there possibly be in weakness? 2 Corinthians 12:9
May I pray for you?
For your daily prayer writing prompts, follow me on Twitter.
Blessings on your day!